Philly Shut Out at the James Beard Awards

Ellen Yin, Alex Bois, Eli Kulp and Marisa Kulp | Photo via Fork

Ellen Yin, Alex Bois, Eli Kulp and Marisa Kulp | Photo via Fork

The James Beard Awards were held in Chicago last night and Philadelphia will have to stick with boasting about Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook’s double victory at last week’s James Beard Awards for Broadcast and Journalism. Solomonov did not win for Outstanding Chef and the other Philadelphia’s chefs and restaurateurs up for awards were shut out.

On the other hand it was quite the victory to see chef Eli Kulp and the Fork/High Street team at the awards. Kulp was paralyzed in last year’s Amtrak 188 accident but was in Chicago and looking dapper for the awards ceremony.

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Bon Appetit Highlights Philadelphia in Travel Issue

Bon Appetit's Travel Issue, How to Devour America's Best Food Cities | Instagram

Bon Appetit’s Travel Issue, How to Devour America’s Best Food Cities | Instagram

Philadelphia gets a six page spread in Bon Appetit’s May issue on travel. Bon Appetit’s Editor in Chief himself, Adam Rapoport spends 32 hours in town with co-worker and former 12 Steps Down employee Amiel Stanek. The pair get local help from W/N W/N Coffee Bar co-founder Anthony Fulvio as they eat and drink their way through town.

On the high end, the crew hits Vernick Food and Drink, Zahav, Kensington Quarters and a.kitchen. But they also hit small spots like Stargazy, Philly Style Bagels, Tortilleria San Roman, South Philly Barbacoa and Café Diem.

It’s an impressive 32-hours of food and drink. And at six pages, is as many as any other city is allotted in the issue.

Full list of spots mentioned »

Michael Solomonov Is a James Beard Finalist for Outstanding Chef

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Michael Solomonov: Nominated for Outstanding Chef 2016

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced the finalists for its 2016 awards. Zahav chef and owner Michael Solomonov is a finalist for Outstanding Chef and his cookbook, Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking was also nominated in the International Cookbook category.

Three Philadelphia chefs made it through to the finals for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic. They were Eli Kulp, ForkRich Landau, Vedge;  and Greg Vernick, Vernick Food + Drink.

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Dizengoff NYC Named One of the World’s Most Exciting Restaurant Openings

dizengoff wallpaper 940Bloomberg Business named Dizengoff’s opening in New York’s Chelsea Market as one of the 26 most exciting restaurant openings in the world this spring. The first New York venture of Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook (Zahav, Abe Fisher, Percy Street, Federal Donuts) is hailed as a reason for hummus lovers to rejoice.

The New York City Dizengoff will offer Israeli wines by the glass and shakshuka all day. That’s a treat Philadelphians only get on Sundays ($11 per bowl). Other restaurants in the list range from a French cafe at Versailles to a new casual restaurant in Copenhagen from the team that gave the world Noma, a restaurant praised as the best in the world. Not bad company for a hummusiya.

Volvér Gets 5 Star Rating by Forbes Travel Guide

Photo by Joni Nimrod

Jose Garces and his Volver team | Photo by Yoni Nimrod

Volvér has been named a Five-Star Restaurant by Forbes Travel Guide in its 2016 Star Ratings. Only 56 restaurants around the world received Forbes’ highest rating. Restaurants that receive the highest rating are described as “outstanding, often iconic properties with virtually flawless service and amazing facilities.”

The Forbes guide was formerly the Mobil Travel Guide and has been issuing ratings since 1958. The last restaurant in Philadelphia to receive five stars was the Fountain at the Four Seasons, which had it five consecutive years before closing in December of 2014.

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2016 James Beard Semifinalists Announced

2016 jbf awardsThe big list of James Beard semifinalists for chefs and restaurants for 2016 has been released and Philadelphia makes a strong showing. Highlighting the nominees is Fork which is nominated for Best Restaurant. Fork chef Eli Kulp, who was seriously injured in last May’s Amtrak crash is also nominated best chef Mid-Atlantic.

Eight chefs from the Philadelphia area are nominated for Best Chef Mid-Atlantic including:

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Washington Post Ranks Philadelphia As 6th Best Food City

Photo by Ashley Catharine Smith

Dining at Vedge was Sietsema’s defining moment in Philadelphia | Photo by Ashley Catharine Smith

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema ranks America’s top-ten food cities and places Philadelphia at number six, ahead of the likes of New York, Chicago and unranked cities including Seattle and Nashville. Portland, Oregon gets Sietsema’s number one spot with San Francisco in the second spot.

Sietsema cites “falling head over heels for the vegan menu at the elegant Vedge restaurant, featuring a whole roasted carrot transformed into a marvelous meatless ‘Reuben.'” as Philadelphia’s defining moment.

Check out the video for delicious takes on roast pork and more on Philadelphia’s highly touted food scene.

The 10 Best Food Cities in America, Ranked [Washington Post]

Paesano’s Offering Scrapple Cheesesteak Seen on Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods

Peter McAndrews' Scrapple Cheesesteak is on the menu now.

Peter McAndrews’ Scrapple Cheesesteak is on the menu now.

Andrew Zimmern and Bizarre Foods were in town for their 200th episode and Zimmern got together with Paesano’s Peter McAndrews for a scrapple cheesesteak. In the episode, which first was broadcast a month ago, McAndrews walks Zimmern through making the scrapple and turning it into a riff on the cheesesteak. McAndrews compares the sandwich to Philadelphia itself, ballsy, tough, made with love, integrity and flavor.

The sandwich is currently on the menu at the Italian Market location of Paesano’s. That location has just extended its hours. You can now get a Paesano’s sandwich from 11 am to 5 pm, Monday through Saturday and 11 am to 3 pm on Sundays.

Watch the segment »

WATCH: Tired Hands Brewing on Vice’s Munchies

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Tired Hands Brewing’s Jean Broillet appears on an episode of Vice’s online food series, Munchies. Broillet offers a tour of his Ardmore brewery and a look behind the scenes as he brews a hoppy saison with trifoliate oranges.

This is the fourth episode of Munchies’ Craftwerk series. Prior episodes focused on Brooklyn Brewery, 3Floyds, and Dogfish Head. Definitely lofty company for Broillet and Tired Hands to be with.

Watch the episode »

South Philly’s Ristorante Pesto Wins Rachael Ray’s Pasta Showdown

Giovanni and Maria Varallo of Ristorante Pesto on the Rachael Ray Show

Giovanni and Maria Varallo of Ristorante Pesto on the Rachael Ray Show

Giovanni Varallo and his daughter Maria of South Philly’s Ristorante Pesto competed this morning on the Rachael Ray Show for Rae’s Little Italy Showdown title for best pasta. The restaurateurs put their signature cavatelli topped with lobster, crab, and shrimp against teams from New York and San Francisco.
And the winner is »

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